Pop superstar Lady Gaga looks set to crown her debut as a major movie actress on Sunday at a Golden Globes ceremony where romance "A Star is Born" could reap rewards.
Fresh off an acclaimed series of new concerts in Las Vegas, the "Born This Way" singer is the front-runner for her first big award as a lead actress when the Golden Globes kick off the annual countdown to the Oscars in February, award watchers say.
Gaga, 32, also looks certain also to take home the Golden Globe for best original song, for her hit single "Shallow," while "A Star is Born" is a strong contender for the top prize of best drama film.
The third remake of "A Star is Born" goes into Sunday's ceremony with five nominations, including two for Bradley Cooper as actor and director.
But there is stiff competition from box-office hits "Black Panther," and "Bohemian Rhapsody," which stars Rami Malek in an acclaimed performance as late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. Despite being musicals both "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Star is Born" are competing in the more prestigious drama race.
Political comedy "Vice" got the most Golden Globe nominations - six - but the film's scathing portrait of former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney has proved divisive among both audiences and film critics.
"'Vice' director Adam McKay really take chances with that movie. Sometimes he goes too far, and some people love it and some people are having a hard time with that," said Tim Gray, awards editor at Hollywood publication Variety.
However Christian Bale's performance as Cheney is favored to beat Lin-Manuel Miranda ("Mary Poppins Returns") and Viggo Mortensen ("Green Book") as best comedy actor on Sunday.
A strong line-up of comedies and musicals, including "Crazy Rich Asians" and bawdy historical movie "The Favourite" starring British front runner Olivia Colman, are likely to set the tone for a light-hearted ceremony in Beverly Hills. Comedian Andy Samberg and "Killing Eve" actress Sandra Oh, who is also nominated, will host for the first time.
Unlike some previous years, a hefty dose of popular films were nominated for Golden Globes rather than art house fare.
"It's a lot more like what awards shows used to be," Samberg said ahead of the ceremony.
The Globes also give out awards for television, where movie stars like Julia Roberts ("Homecoming"), Michael Douglas ("The Kominsky Method"), and Hugh Grant ("A Very English Scandal") are nominated alongside favorites like Candice Bergen for "Murphy Brown" and Debra Messing for "Will & Grace."
The television races are harder to predict. Four of the five best comedy series nominees are first time contenders, and all five drama series in the race have never been Golden Globe nominated before.
The Golden Globes, chosen by the small Hollywood Foreign Press Association, will be televised live on NBC on Sunday, starting at 8 pm ET/ 5 pm PT.